Women have long been held to a higher aging standard than guys, but it appears as though that gap may be closing. According to a new study in the journal Cosmetic Dermatology, the number of American men getting Botox injections—which relax the facial muscles to minimize lines and wrinkles—has skyrocketed 258 percent over the past decade or so. What gives?
"My male patients are much more open and proactive about their appearance-related concerns now," says lead study author Whitney Bowe, MD, assistant medical director for cosmetic and laser services at Advanced Dermatology P. C. in Ossining, New York. "Male patients who have tried Botox look better, feel better, and believe it gives them a competitive edge. There's also less of a stigma associated with cosmetic procedures nowadays."
So what accounts for this huge shift? Well, metrosexuality and a quick fix with no downtime for starters, but it appears as though the economy is a major factor too. "Men feel increasingly pressured to maintain a more attractive and youthful look in a highly competitive job market," says Bowe. The study points out that a youthful appearance allows men—and women—to generate more revenue than their older looking peers, which is an important asset in a leaner workforce. "And if you are out of work, it can give you an edge in finding a new job."
Should you decide to give Brotox a try—none of us are getting any younger, after all—discuss the effect you’re hoping to achieve with any potential doctor. Bowe says there are significant differences in the outcome of injectables in women and men, so choose a doctor who’s experienced with male patients. They need to take into account each patient's muscle mass, muscle fiber pattern and hair distribution, according to Bowe. "Although exact dosing regimens do not yet exist, there is widespread consensus that men require higher doses of Botox than their female counterparts."